SCULPTURES made from chicken wire can now be spotted on a Gillingham roundabout, thanks to a refurbishment paying tribute to the town's history.

Part of Gillingham’s Gateways Project, the idea for a white hart stag and deer display on Ham Roundabout, along Shaftesbury Road, was put forward by local artist Janet Swiss. It was then created by sculpture artist Pauline Dawkins.

The spectacle reminds motorists that Gillingham was previously a Royal Forest favoured by King John and King Henry III in medieval times.

The White Hart, a rare red deer stag famously associated with Gillingham and the Blackmore Vale, also appears in the town’s crest and is also used by Gillingham School and other organisations within the town.

Gillingham Town Council, which funded the refurbishment thanks to a grant awarded two years ago from the then North Dorset District Council, said the former forest was used to supply the royal larder with meat and timber for royal buildings.

Janet, a former member of Gillingham’s Town Team, said: “I am absolutely thrilled with the result.”

Salisbury Journal: The refurbished Ham roundabout along Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham The refurbished Ham roundabout along Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham

The display came to life thanks to Pauline and Dorset Council's landscaping team.

Following the unveiling of the sculpture Pauline said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed making this fabulous commission for Gillingham. The comments and support from the local people of Gillingham have been amazing.

"I feel that everyone’s hard work has come together successfully.”

Landscaping work will continue in the New Year on the smaller roundabout at Peacemarsh, including another sculpture of a stag.

The town council added that due to a shortage of bulbs it was not possible to plant all the spring bulbs this year so this work will be finished next autumn.

Gillingham Mayor Barry von Clemens said: “It’s fabulous to see the completion of this first part of the gateway project, giving a positive image of our town to people as they enter Gillingham."